Dan Norton pens new Sevens deal
April 23, 2012
England's Dan Norton is arguably the fastest man on the HSBC Sevens World Series circuit © Getty Images
England Sevens star Dan Norton has resisted attempts to lure him back to the 15-man game in favour of a new contract with the Rugby Football Union.
The prolific former Gloucester and Bristol wing has scored 33 tries in this season's HSBC Sevens World Series with two more events to come in Glasgow (May 5-6) and at the Twickenham (May 12-13). That impressive tally leaves the 24-year-old six tries clear of his nearest global rivals, New Zealand's Frank Halai and Samoa's Paul Perez.
The Bristol-born speedster, arguably the fastest man on the circuit, has scored 81 tries in his international career with only Ben Gollings (220), Richard Haughton (106) and Rob Thirlby (101) ahead of him on England's all-time list.
"I know there are several clubs who wanted to have him on board, so we're delighted to have secured his services," said head coach Ben Ryan, whose side are currently fourth in the overall standing behind New Zealand, Fiji and South Africa. "Dan's made excellent progress this season, worked hard all over the pitch and deserves the praise that's come his way for the tries he's scored. Every coach in the series would love to have him on their side.
"We're in the second year of our full-time sevens programme now and the benefits are showing throughout the squad in terms of the individual development of each player and the collective understanding of how we want to play."
Following the decision to commit his future to the shortened version of the game, Norton said: "I'm really happy to be able to continue what I'm doing. I enjoy the set-up, working with all the players and coaches and the team spirit is great.
"Finishing this season on a high at Glasgow and Twickenham is the immediate goal. Beyond that the next ambitions are to win the HSBC Sevens World Series with England and the Sevens World Cup next summer.
"Going full-time with sevens this season has meant it's been easy to concentrate on specific parts of my game, and the extra contact time we have has helped our understanding of the game and built a really strong team culture."
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